Hello there, whoever it is! Since you’re interested enough in me to click into this page, I will reveal my name. And some more #cool private information. On the internet! How crazy is that?
Well first of all, my name’s Hideaki, but you can call me Allen since Japanese and Asian people in general are weird that way with wanting to have a secondary Western-sounding name. Call me Hideaki Allen if you want to lose some mouthwater. I'm 27 years old - the sweet age of dead famous musicians, and I do live in a Western place now though, currently residing in a pretty cozy apartment in Torrance, California with my long time supermodel gf (kidding, I'm single ladies).
I'm currently working as a freelance translator, taking on many projects translating contents for websites of Japanese companies that have offices here, from Japanese to English and vice versa. I also work as a part time collaborator under an alias for The Daily Breeze, though that's more of a hobby of mine, to kill time, rather than to make money. I enrolled in the University of Electro-Communications as a Computer Science major back home, the same place that has produced many famed Japanese engineers and scientists whom you have obviously not heard of. Some kick ass info right? Surely I'm looking like I have integrity as a blogger now. Just kidding, not many bloggers have integrity. And to be honest, I don’t either. None of those things above actually relate to the main question you came here to seek an answer for: Why are you writing ergonomic product reviews?
Once upon a time...
…I was very addicted to playing video games. School or home, my head was surrounded with titles of JRPGs, Doujin fighters, visual novels, and Western ones like Skyrim and its new mods, GTA 4 and whatever the new Assasin’s Creed. I was not an arcade guy like most of my peers, thought the games were lame. At school, I would ditch class every once in a while to stay home playing or occasionally check up on my PSP to see if my main man had been leveling up on auto mode while I was fantasizing about a remote control that could help me fast forward to class' end. Then when I reached that, I would spend like a quarter of an hour to get on my beloved chair and gaming desk at my beloved parents’ basement (a joke), although to be honest it was more the gaming part that I loved. Well, that went on, and after a while, slowly but surely, I became the talk of the class, but not due to my gaming-centric style of living. My classmates actually dug that, I hope anyway, since I was one of the few legit self-proclaimed tech savvy people in the class. No, I didn’t become the talk of the class via being a total nerd with all of the fancy faux anime characters. I became the talk because I was walking around like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame if he had been Asian.
You see, there is this certain, invisible line of thought that we gamers all share, but never talk about. Used to be the case, anyway. If you’re a gamer, you’re supposed to only care about better-ing your playing skills, or getting the best specs out there for your computers or more suitable video game playing platforms in order to catch up with all the new eye candies and suicide advocates, right? For the most part yes. But sometimes, while one is shooting it out on Team Fortress, while he is burning bodies, taunting hitmans and teabagging the soon-to-be-respawn dead, as he’s about to go downstair to get a quick bag of cheetos, he would realize that to get up is to kickstart that subtle back pain again, or neck pain, or both, and maybe some more. And he would know somewhat about the reason behind them existing. Seems a tad specific of an example, though that was actually what I went through once. My continuously bad posture as I was sitting in front of a computer for nearly half a day, every day, had developed inside my body real physical sores, though small ones they in turns transcended into the way I walked and talked. Gamers like myself in general were slow to figure it out or didn't care, but freelance developers and scientists and companies working in the field had already started buying stats and putting on plans to design prototypes for various ergonomic flavours, sensing an opportunity in a relatively undiscovered territory, more so in Japan I suppose. As you can guess, the said relating line of thought we all shared was one that was mundane and seemed a bit dismissing and unimportant to the actual gaming aspects: the bad postures that we put on while playing games.
If you’re a gamer, the way you sit most likely is the last thing you think about, as I previously implied. However, it’s just as important as your highscores. After becoming freaky and freakier the way I was crouching and talking with my neck too forward and arms slightly sticking out like a creep, I realized I needed to do something to get back to performing normal human gestures, else I wasn't gonna get a girlfriend. Giving up gaming ain’t gonna be one of the solutions, and I was determined with that thinking.
Girlfriends, indeed: the anti-video game.
I’m gonna skip you past the bulls and get straight to the point: I finally discovered the idea of Ergonomics. Nowadays most gamers do invest in a better gaming station and that includes supporting furnitures like chairs and desks and what have you, but it was still a new thing then. So once, when I was googling stuffs like “chairs for back pain“, “gaming chairs“, “gaming desks”, "gaming keyboards" in Japanese, I accidentally stumbled upon a Japanese Amazon page for a type of red, famed X ROCKER gaming chair. In the product description however, for some reason it still remains written in the original English, and there I was for the first time took a look at the words Ergonomics, coupled with the words Designs. My English had already stopped being absolutely crappy at the time so I dug further into what I saw. A whole new world opened like a new arc in a survival game, with lost and gained tools, and it was a long process to correct my extremely bad posture, from developing new sitting habits, playing through the slight annoyances to actually buying the recommended products (a fellow blogger back home named Sato helped me quite a bit with the online shopping), but the addition of rudiments about the field of ergonomics, about what made me that way in the first place was of utmost significance. I was steadily and beginning to know more about my own body and what kind of things that can help it being at peak functionality, reading up the how-tos, the M.Ds reviews, DIYs and the silly, oddly small but important ergonomic differences from this one item to the next through first hand experience and researches. Everything else that came after, of course followed suit.
You might have an idea that this is the first time ever I do this thing, and you're right. I know about ergonomic products, and have known them for years on end due to personal experience and self-teaching, but I hardly ever share my knowledge, just out of laziness. Consider you being pretty unlucky for reading my work at an early stage of my career of self-blogging and web administration in general, though if you're here to have fun and to not make bad purchase decisions regarding your home office, it's exactly what I'm here for. Why am I here? I know about stuffs and I want to help you to not become like me in the past, with bad postures, pain and struggles and no girlfriends (still no girlfriends, but you get my point).
See you around, dudes and dudettes, with a more comfy workstation, hopefully.
Allen Hideaki aka Hideaki aka Allen aka Hideaki Allen